Tamgaly Petroglyphs

Tamgaly is famous petroglyph site in South East Kazakhstan, 170 km North-East of Almaty, with around 5000 petroglyphs. The majority of them are dated Bronze Age but in some Iron Age and Medieval.

The name Tamgaly in Kazakh and other Turkic languages means "marked place or a sign".

The wide and smooth surfaces of the rocks over many millennia of sun and wind influence became the ideal backdrop for this miraculous gallery, in which many generations of ancient masters - the creators of the rock drawings worked. Throughout the centuries, for different peoples who left their mark on the stones, Tamgaly had been a sacred place - the places where ritual ceremonies, magical rites, worship of the gods and spirits of ancestors took place.

There is a great variety of subjects presented on the rock - from single object images: people, horses, bulls, deer, goats, wild boars - to complex compositions of hunting and ritual dances. There is also a famous image of an anthropomorphic sun-headed deity with mysterious nimbus, consisting of circles, many rays, and dots, occupy a special place in the gallery of rock carvings.

The uniqueness and value of the petroglyphs of Tamgaly were recognized by the world community in 2004 when it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Since that time, the monument is protected by the International Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage.